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Day-to-day life as an AFL footballer makes you sometimes forget how fortunate you are – we can all occasionally get caught up in a little bubble at times and forget to appreciate the ‘little things’ in life. A couple of recent events in my life have reminded me of this and also make me realise that I am now living the dreams I had as a young fella growing up in Bendigo.
This time of year, in the cut throat AFL environment we unfortunately have to bid farewell to some champions of our Club through retirements or free agency. A constant message that each of my outgoing teammates highlight is ‘enjoy it while it lasts because it’s the best years of your life’ or ‘it’s over in a flash and I wish I enjoyed it more’.
This brings me to a recent event that has happened in my life – my brother Adam’s retirement from the West Coast Eagles. I sat down and watched his retirement speech to his teammates and football department staff – the inner sanctum of Eagles HQ and a place that he has called home for the past 12 years. I ended up watching this speech three times in a row. Maybe I’m biased because he is my older brother and a great mentor to me, but his speech was ‘real’ and extremely polished. Adam spoke about how he worked so hard to get everything he could out of his body and he is now worn out. He talked about his journey and how he wouldn’t have wanted to be at another club because he thinks that his team is the best in the league, (the only part I strongly disagreed about!!) – he felt extremely lucky to have been so well looked after his entire career by selfless people.
It made me think back to ‘the Cats’ and I see this happen day in day out. He thanked a number of different people who helped him have such a successful career – coaches, welfare, medical and fitness teams, the trainers, the volunteers (the people that make footy teams run). These are the great people that I also have at my footy club. It was just the reminder that I needed to constantly thank the good people in my life. Thanks Adam.
A second event that recently occurred was the night of the AFLPA MVP awards where I was voted by my teammates & opponents as the most courageous player and captain of the year for 2013. I was absolutely thrown back, shocked & honoured to receive this honour. Week after week I try my hardest for the Geelong Football Club for 4 quarters, and all of a sudden to be recognised by my peers in the AFL is a very humbling experience. To be honest the awards didn’t really sink in until the following morning when I was able to catch my breath. That is when I received a message from an ex-captain of mine and a guy that I have the utmost respect for – Tom Harley. The message was simple but he reminded me how special it was to enjoy the journey of AFL & the ‘little wins’ along the way. Thanks Harls
Stay tuned for my next Blog to come shortly.
Welcome to my very own personal website!
Wow, it felt a little strange writing that – my new adventure is becoming real! I’m super excited about the website ‘going live’ where it will provide me with the opportunity to share personal thoughts, ideas and opinions with the world.
I understand there might be a few skeptics reading this blog now and asking – why would Joel need a website? That is a fair question.
At times I find myself surfing the internet visiting the webpages of my most admired sporting idols – Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Blake Griffen and Michael Jordan. I found it to be a great way for sports fans to interact with their heroes and gain further insight into their lives. I’m in a very fortunate position in my line of work where I receive some great fan mail sent into the Geelong Football Club. I read each letter and want to give back to the supporters as much as I possibly can. Hence, I spoke to my management team about how to best allow fans to see what I’m getting up to and what is important to me. We came up with this idea.
The establishment of this website has been progressing well over the last few months and I have been working with a great company called @socialights_au to help me get it to this stage. They have allowed me to be very ‘hands on’ with the creation of this website – which has been really fun! I want it to represent the ‘real me’ and provide everyone with the opportunity to connect with me on another platform.
Again this is just a short welcome message and a thank you for visiting the site.
I hope you enjoy having a look around.